Coalition Immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison announces plan to buy back boats


A BOAT buy back scheme and bounties paid in Indonesia are part of a planned crackdown on people smuggling under a Coalition government.

Australian taxpayers would purchase leaking fishing boats from poor fishermen where intelligence identified they planned to sell them to people smugglers.

Under a Village Watch Program impoverished Indonesians would also be eligible to be paid “bounties” if they handed over crucial information under the Coalition’s regional deterrence policy.


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Millions would be set aside for the boats buy back scheme and money available for bounty payments in “exceptional circumstances” where information led to an arrest or major disruption to the people smuggling trade, Coalition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said.

He declined to say how many boats could be bought back or for how much, saying he did not want to encourage owners to take advantage of the scheme.

Boats would be purchased and destroyed.

Bounty payments would be “relevant to Indonesian conditions,” Mr Morrison said.


Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison (R) with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison (R) with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images) Source: Getty Images

He said he wanted to gain the cooperation of the International Organisation for Migration and the village program would mirror a scheme set up after the Bali bombings to identify extremism.

Plans to prevent asylum seekers ever setting foot on Australian soil and increasing deterrence work in the region will also be unveiled by the Coalition today.

Any asylum seekers intercepted at sea would be taken on a vessel to a third country to be flown to Nauru or Manus Island, preventing them making a refugee claim in Australia.

“Our regional deterrence package is targeted to stop the boats leaving Indonesia and better still stop their passengers getting into Indonesia in the first place,” Mr Morrison said.

“We want to work with our regional partners to strengthen their borders as much as our own.”

The Coalition also plans to deploy more Australian Federal Police resources to Indonesia and Sri Lanka and to begin working more closely with authorities in transit country Malaysia.

Indonesia would receive more help to conduct search and rescue missions under a Coalition government.

Mr Morrison said they would be given vessels which Australia would maintain. Australian authorities would continue aerial surveillance north of Christmas Island.

A Coalition government would also appoint an “envoy” to liaise with countries in the region.

The measures come after the Coalition announced last month it would appoint a three start military commander to coordinate the efforts of more than ten government departments.

Meanwhile, the government yesterday released a video of asylum seekers who have been sent to PNG resettlement urging others not to pay a people smuggler to travel to Australia because they would end up on Manus Island.








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